In Hackney, NHS cuts are beginning to cause real harm to patient care. Cuts at the Homerton Hospital are escalating, with maternity beds axed, midwives facing redundancy, the specialist breast cancer nurse service cut, redundancy of nurses and therapists, cuts to rehabilitation care for patients who have had a stroke… Rationing of food and milk is so severe that women who have just given birth find themselves unable to have a cup of tea because the hospital can’t afford milk!
In Hackney, we’re also seeing NHS cuts having a serious impact on mental health services and community services. In mental health, we, we’ve had one acute and one rehab ward closed already – with more cuts to come. Community services are expected to lose £13.6 million this April, on top of the £17 million taken out of local NHS funding last year. Health workers at the Primary Care Trust now face redundancy. Morale amongst health workers across Hackney is close to rock bottom, as the financial squeeze gets tighter and tighter.
Our local demonstration in Hackney is part of a national Day of Action to defend the NHS. We’re now seeing cuts and privatisation on an unprecedented scale. Nationally, around 26,000 NHS jobs have been axed. Billions of pounds of public money are being squandered on PFI, Independent Sector Treatment Centres and other privatisation schemes. Cuts and closures are now causing incalculable damage.
The demonstration is on Saturday 3rd March, assembling at 12 noon outside Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street. Please do everything you can to attend the demonstration yourself, and to bring friends, neighbours or colleagues with you. Leaflets for the march are attached.
It’s time for a real fight to defend our NHS. Please come to the Hackney demonstration on 3rd March. This has been called by trade unions at the Homerton Hospital, City and Hackney Primary Care Trust and East London Mental Health Trust, and supported by the ‘Keep Hackney NHS Public’ campaign. We need as much support as we can possibly get from people who live or work in Hackney.
Chair, Keep Hackney NHS Public